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Osprey Invitational Event at Weymouth Sailing Club

by Kevin Francis 13 Oct 2020 06:55 BST 10 October 2020
Osprey Invitational at Weymouth © Celia Rushton / WSC

Saturday October 10th was the date chosen to attempt a small Covid safe gathering of Ospreys for a day's racing from Weymouth Sailing Club, and to once again revel in the sights and sounds of these magnificent racing machines doing battle where they belong on the open waters of Weymouth bay.

As we all know 2020 has been memorable for all the wrong reasons so to finally be able to line up alongside faces and boats that have not been seen this year was a real treat for the author. Some faces were seen in an Osprey for the first time in many years and all were smiling broadly at the prospect of competing in fresh North Westerly breezes and slight swell. The sun made a welcome appearance along with a local dolphin pairing that seem drawn to all who gather afloat.

So to help paint the picture the wind would play a big part and would vary in strength up and down all day from high teens into the 20's and shifting at the same time as it bounced out to sea from the town and harbour leading to big gains if you picked the right lane upwind or were just plain lucky. The courses used were to be a variation on the tried and trusted triangle sausage theme however this didn't exactly go to plan all the time as will be explained later and is evidenced in the results for race 2.

As the gun went for the first race it was Emma Stevenson and Peter Lloyd that set the pace with Angus Hemmings and Adam Bowers and Terry Curtis and Peter Greig all breaking free of the others to fight it out with Angus and Adam overhauling their rivals to take the win. This looked like an interesting scenario for the remaining races and at the windward mark of race 2 Angus and Adam again looked to have gained the advantage but instead of turning the corner they continued straight home, the conditions and fitness levels were already beginning to tell and for them it was job done. Roger and Jamie Blake had also exited the arena by this point due to a terminal kicker failure, a cruel twist of fate for this seasoned duo that had travelled all the way down from Buckinghamshire.

So to pick up on the race 2 result this left Terry Curtis and Peter Greig leading with the author in hot pursuit. What followed can only be described as driver error by the author who was convinced that the next leg was a sausage but watched as Curtis and Co flew away on a reach hence the dreaded dilemma of which way to go? Sticking to the plan the author and long suffering crew continued on the run like their lives depended on it with the rest of the fleet following adding to the confidence, also looking back to the wing mark Mr Curtis was cruising downwind with no kite so even more reason to think that we had it right, but alas when crossing the line the lack of any emotion from the race officer told a different story with a sausage, triangle, triangle being the course set sure enough only Mr Curtis and Co had sailed the correct course. I guess that's a round of beers on me then when we are allowed.

By this point we had lost the class association test boat which had been very well sailed by none other than long time Osprey sailor and current Hornet helm Nigel Skudder teaming up with the unmissable Robin Hobson who also gets a mention as the furthest travelled sailor having flown in from St Lucia for the Nationals that never was and deciding to stay in the UK for long enough to finally get a sail. Again some technical issues and a little fatigue had made the decision easier. Race 3 progressed as planned with a good battle between the author and Richard 'Burt' Burton who was guesting for Tim Bowden and finding the fast button, we need to see more of this combo in 2021; Richard was making the most of the open spaces provided by the Osprey in comparison to his usual mount the OK.

Another crew to have formed up again after many years apart were Will Odling helming for George Odling and it didn't take long for them to get back in the groove showing glimpses of the performance that we all know from the legendary Infidel banging in a 3rd in race 3, great to see. Also a mention to Richard Packer and Andrew Morrice who had travelled over from Bristol Corinthian and kept plugging away against some stiff opposition in testing conditions, I'm sure learning more all the time ready for 2021, well done guys!

By the time race 4 started a large number of the teams had called it a day and were now fully feeling the lack of fitness induced by the lay-off and excess Netflix box sets. Only the 3 local Weymouth boats competed in this one with 'Burt' and Tim taking a swim to cool off and deciding to head for the beers, the remaining duo fought it out closely with Mr Curtis and Co taking the 3rd win and the event.

The Osprey Class Association would like to warmly thank Weymouth Sailing Club for providing this opportunity, to Gavin Poulloin, Terry Curtis and Nick Frampton for masterminding and to all the support staff and crews that made it possible for us to participate safely.

Hope to see you again next year.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewR1R2R3R4Pts
11234Terry CurtisPeter Greig21113
21362Emma StevensonPeter Lloyd3RET5210
31175Richard BurtonTim Bowden6DNF4DNF14
41296Kevin FrancisPhil Male5DNF2DNC16
51198Angus HemmingsAdam Bowers1DNFDNCDNC19
61085Will OdlingGeorge Odling8DNF3DNC20
71360Nigel SkudderRobin Hobson4DNFDNCDNC22
8854Richard PackerAndrew Morrice7DNF6DNC22
91369Roger BlakeJamie BlakeDNFDNCDNCDNC 

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